Aside from the customs debacle, I was excited to arrive in Australia because it signaled a return to the sort of cultural norms that I'm used to (e.g. ethnic diversity, coffee shops everywhere, reliable forms of public transportation, not having to haggle over everything, speaking English, being able to trust strangers, etc.). Not to mention that, after being in very hot climates where each day was a struggle to stay hydrated on account of all the sweating, I relished the idea of wearing pants and jackets. (Actually, I forced myself to wear pants in Morocco and India to reduce the chances of being creepily hit on - didn't stop some guys! - and it was terribly uncomfortable). Maybe my internal thermostat is just out of whack from the shock of crossing the equator, but I've come down with some ill-timed cold/flu-like disease. Prior to landing in Sydney, I honestly don't remember the last time I felt cold.
My host Michelle, who was my travel buddy on last summer's Scandinavian adventure, and her friends struggled to come up with activities for me in Sydney that didn't revolve around eating. This is not to say that the city is boring, but when you've lived somewhere you're whole life, you tend to take things for granted. I go through the same process when people ask me what to do in Seattle. (And my mind always jumps first to the best places to eat).
But as we sipped cocktails at the bar under the famous opera house, we agreed that the thing no one ever gets tired of is the views. Most of the photos I took are along various points of the many coves and bays on either side of the historic Harbor Bridge. If it weren't so expensive I might want to live there just to bask in its beauty.
See more of Sydney here.